Moated site and ridge and furrow cultivation 230m south east of Manor Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Moated site and ridge and furrow cultivation 230m south east of Manor Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

North Yorkshire
Ryedale (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SE 64785 72609

Reasons for Designation

Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide ditches, often or seasonally water-filled, partly or completely enclosing one or more islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or religious buildings. In some cases the islands were used for horticulture. The majority of moated sites served as prestigious aristocratic and seigneurial residences with the provision of a moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was between about 1250 and 1350 and by far the greatest concentration lies in central and eastern parts of England. However, moated sites were built throughout the medieval period, are widely scattered throughout England and exhibit a high level of diversity in their forms and sizes. They form a significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic remains.

Medieval moated sites were often at the centre of a wider agricultural and economic unit. As such the wider complex may have a range of associated agricultural features adjacent to the moat. These could include structures such as stables, stores and workshops and remains of agricultural practices such as paddocks, garths and field systems. The most common form of field system of the medieval period was known as ridge and furrow. This took the form of parallel rounded ridges separated by furrows and which provided rich well drained land for planting crops. Over large areas the system tended to adopt a characteristic `s' shape to accommodated the turning circle of a plough team. In small or steep areas where the use of a plough team was impractical, ridge and furrow would be dug by hand. Although remains of ridge and furrow are common in some areas of central and southern England it is becoming rare in the north. The moated site at Scackleton survives well and significant remains of medieval buildings will be preserved. The accumulated silts of the moat ditch will retain important archaeological remains which will assist in the study of the medieval environment. The survival of ridge and furrow around the moat will preserve remains of earlier land use beneath it and offers important scope for understanding the relationship between the moat and its associated agriculture and add to the understanding of the wider economy of the site.


The monument includes a moated site visible as a water-filled ditch enclosing a central platform of dry land and an adjacent enclosure or garth, situated on undulating land in the Howardian Hills. Also included in the monument is an area of the surrounding land where extensive ridge and furrow earthworks from the medieval period still survive. The moated platform is almost square in plan and measures 53m by 44m across. On the platform are a series of earthworks representing the remains of building foundations. A raised bank extends around most of the platform perimeter with more substantial earthworks at the south, west and north corners. The surrounding moat is 10m wide and up to 1.5m deep. It was fed by a small leat leading from a brook running south west to north east past the north of the moat and a shallow gully extending from the north east corner of the ditch appears to be the overflow-outlet channel. The moat has an external bank on all sides which is most substantial on the south west and south east sides. The entrance to the moat appears to be on the north east side where both the internal and external banks are at their lowest. On the south east side the moat has been widened in the post-medieval period to build a reservoir for supplying water to nearby Wiganthorpe Hall. Outside the moat is a complex of banks which formed an integral part of its layout. There is a small enclosure or garth to the south of the moat. This is formed by an extension of the eastern external bank of the moat with a second bank defining the south side and the west side formed by a long bank extending beyond the corner of the garth for a further 60m. A further bank and parallel trackway extend from the garth towards the modern village. The moat and its enclosures were not the earliest features on the site as they overlie an area of ridge and furrow cultivation to the south of the moat. Two larger areas of ridge and furrow contemporary with and post-dating the moat construction lie to the east and south west of the moat. The establishment of the moat probably dates to the late 13th century when a manor is know to have existed at Scackleton. The moat would have housed the medieval manor house which was later replaced by the current Manor Farm house, formerly called Scackleton Hall, 80m to the north which dates to the early 17th century. After its abandonment the moat may have been modified to be an ornamental garden feature associated with the later manor house. The modern sluice and pipework to the south east of the moat and all fences and walls are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included. The ditch at the north of the field west of the moat is not included in the scheduling.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Foster, C, 32 Moated Sites of Yorkshire, (1993)
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973), 120
Swan, V, Medieval Moated Manor, encs and broad ridge and furrow cultivation, (1987)
McElvaney, M, Howardian Hills AONB Historic Environment Study, (1994)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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